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Accrington Stanley v Sunderland - Sky Bet League One

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Fan Letters: Kicked off or let in? Sunderland fans’ Ticketmaster woes continue!

The ticketing system certainly didn’t cover itself in glory this week, while RR reader Bobby says playing O’Nien in midfield is ‘essential’. If you have anything to get off your chest, email us with your views: RokerReport@Yahoo.co.uk

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

Well, back again – nailbiting time. At least no Pompey or Addicks. So, who do we bring into the team? We all know what has happened to the centre backs and the number of free-kicks given away around the box – is that due to the centre backs been overloaded?

I think it is.

I really do think it’s essential that O9 plays in midfield – Scowen and Leadbitter are too square and slow. Maybe put Conor and Bailey together to free up O9, and combine him with Winchester – have Geads and Jones on the wings.

Now for upfield. As Rosco is – as we think – out for the moment, it leaves Charlie. Now, he has had a great season but is predictable.

Give them something new – Hawkes it is a risk true, but we have become so one-dimensional let’s throw a spanner in the works. Doing this and pushing the midfield higher up the park will also get players into more attacking roles than Josh or Grant get into.

Bobby Walker

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Thanks for your email Bobby – there are certainly a few things Johnson could do. The next two – hopefully three! – games are completely different to the rest of the season, however, I think it would be very risky, or brave, depending on how you look at it, for Johnson to try something completely different for these games. I’d love to see O’Nien play in midfield – a position he’s actually played only a handful of times for us. I’ve said throughout the season I’d like him to play in the advanced midfield role, as he offers the energy and goal threat we need. However, circumstances forced him back into defence and, especially given Bailey Wright’s still getting up to speed, it would be a huge risk to move O’Nien out of central defence. We are giving a number of free-kicks away, and Lincoln could punish that. Upfront, if Stewart was to be fully fit, I’d have been tempted to play him – I completely agree with the view we’re too one-dimensional upfront. I suspect we won’t see Stewart until the second leg – or maybe even later. Hawkes would be a total wildcard, however, he’s more of an attacking midfielder than a striker, so would be taking the place of Gooch or Maguire, which would be hugely surprising. Whatever happens, it’s certainly going to be a nailbiter.

Sunderland v Northampton Town - Sky Bet League One
Should O’Nien be moved into midfield?
Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dear Roker Report,

It sounds like my experience today was similar to most others:

- Joined the queue about 09:48 and was around 1500th in the queue, quickly went down and was on the site by 10:12

- After hunting around for a pod of two since you couldn’t remove the additional seats, finally thought I’d struck the jackpot

- However, the website had other ideas, saying unable to add those seats to the basket

- Undeterred, I went back and tried every other pod going, same issue experienced...

- Must have repeated the process 20 times for the same outcome, eventually just gave up

Understandable that there would be such high demand, but for a website not to be able to update in real-time is shambles.

Yet again, Sunderland, and their ticketing system, proving to be absolutely hopeless at anything they do.

Hope those that secured tickets enjoy their day out and the lads don’t ruin it for them.

Ben Cuthbertson


Dear Roker Report,

Got onto the ticketing system at 9.40 am in a queue as expected – 245 in front of me so delighted. Got onto the seat allocation site, tried to pick three tickets. Then the debacle started – could not get to checkout as unable to allocate seats.

I was on the system for about 40 minutes each time picking seats getting the same message. Refreshed as advised by the system until was eventually advised that all tickets had been sold.

So disappointed with both Ticketmaster and SAFC. I’m glad I will still be able to cheer the lads on watching on Sky, but would rather have been at the match. Surely SAFC would and should have learned from using Ticketmaster in the past? Fingers crossed that we get to the play off final and get a ticket for that.

Donna Watson

Ed’s Note [Martin]: Sorry to hear of your experiences Ben and Donna as you say you certainly weren’t alone. The system seems to have been a shambles – the club have outsourced it to Ticketmaster (who by name alone you’d assume they’d know what they were doing) and seemingly something went awry in the back end. Yes, it’s a new situation to deal with in terms of ticket allocation, but you’d think the people at Ticketmaster wouldn’t have had a great deal to do over the past year so would have had the time to figure it out... It’s a real shame that what should have been a happy moment in time has had a lot of shine taken off it for a number of people – let’s just hope everyone who’s there has a cracking day, and we have to go head-to-head with Ticketmaster again in a couple of weeks’ time!

Sunderland v Lincoln City - Sky Bet League One
The gates are open... but will the Ticketmaster gods let you in?
Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

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